Ruth E. Adomeit|
Early Manuscripts Early Printed Books
Thumb Bibles Miniature Libraries Almanacs & Calendars Near & Far East
19th Century Continental Europe 19th Century Great Britain 19th Century America
20th Century Western Europe 20th Century Eastern Europe 20th Century United States
Modern & Contemporary Presses A Gallery of Books James Weygand & the Indiana Kid
Almanacs and Calendars
Almanacs and calendars are ideally suited to miniature format. Their form and function work in unison to provide small books which can readily be carried in vest pockets or purses. They are also among the earliest-appearing and longest-lived of miniature book genres, ranging throughout the history of printing. Some features of their contents are relatively constant, calendars with associated astrological or astronomical information, facts about a country's royalty, nobility, and government officials, and often information on currency. Since almanacs and calendars were often used as Christmas or New Year gift books, a number of other features occurred with more variety in the efforts to make them appealing. Attractive tooled morocco or worked metal bindings, accompanying cases and tiny magnifying glasses added to their appeal. Literary contributions by popular authors of the day, and engraved or lithographed portraits, views, and depictions of national costume enhance many almanacs. Among the most noted is the London Almanac, a 1690 edition in the British Museum being the earliest recorded copy. Its eighteenth-century editions are noted for contemporary architectural engravings. Noted nineteenth-century English almanacs include the minute and exquisitely illustrated Scholss's English Bijou Almanac and also those issued by D. Bogue and Charles Tilt. On the Continent, the miniature almanacs lithographed in Carlsruhe by C.F. Müller and in Munich by Clemens or Alois Senefelder present postage stamp sized plates from the "incunable" period of lithography. Since almanacs have a distinctly national character, they occur with the imprint of most of the leading cities of the day.